Khairy wants in-depth study before any Umno-PAS tie-up

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PUTRAJAYA: Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin wants any move by the party to cooperate with PAS, especially in the upcoming 14th general election (GE14), to be studied in-depth first.

He said while he welcomed proposals for Umno and PAS to work together, the party needs to evaluate the basis of such a collaboration and whether it would damage its relationship with other component parties in the Barisan Nasional (BN).

“The basis on which the cooperation is to take place needs to be fine-tuned. This is most important.

“We can discuss and explore the proposal if it is meant to help us in our overall struggle for the nation, as well as for the Malays and Islam, while not affecting our ties with partners in the BN,” he told reporters here today.

PAS spiritual adviser Hashim Jasin yesterday said there was a possibility of Umno and PAS engaging in “tahaluf siyasi” (political cooperation) in the future.

“We are ready for ‘tahaluf siyasi’ not just with Umno but also with NGOs like Parti Cinta Malaysia (PCM), which have shown interest,” he said in reference to the outfit led by former Gerakan MP Huan Cheng Guan.

On May 13, Umno’s elder politician and Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah had also suggested that the two parties repeat their political cooperation of the 1970s when facing GE14.

The veteran politician said the only problem was whether such cooperation would be acceptable to the party’s grassroots, especially due to the issue of allocation of seats and candidates.

Khairy, who is the youth and sports minister, said Umno maintained its priority to continue the relationship with fellow BN parties.

“We do not want any cooperation with PAS, even though it is positive, to damage our relations with the other components.”

The MCA, MIC and a few BN parties in Sabah and Sarawak have recently expressed apprehension over Umno’s friendly stance towards PAS, especially in supporting PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s tabling of a motion in the Dewan Rakyat to bring about shariah amendments with heavier penalties for offenders.

Umno and PAS leaders have also recently shared the same stage on a few occasions, including a rally attended by Hadi and prime minister and Umno president Najib Razak to highlight the plight of the Rohingyas of Myanmar on Dec 4.

On May 11, PAS’ Syura Council endorsed the decision of the party’s muktamar (general assembly) on April 30 to end its “tahaluf siyasi” with PKR.

The party has also resolved not to work with PPBM, DAP and Amanah.

Asked about the effect of three-cornered fights in GE14, Khairy said BN views one-on-one fights as the basis of its electoral preparations.

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